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20 November 2020 Agrosilvopastoral Systems and Well-Managed Pastures Increase Soil Carbon Stocks in the Brazilian Cerrado
Igor Costa de Freitas, Juliana Martins Ribeiro, Nayara Christina Almeida Araújo, Marcia Vitória Santos, Regynaldo Arruda Sampaio, Luiz Arnaldo Fernandes, Alcinei Mistico Azevedo, Brigitte Josefine Feigl, Carlos Eduardo Pellegrino Cerri, Leidivan Almeida Frazão
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Abstract

Agrosilvopastoral systems have been promoted as sustainable models that combine crops, livestock grazing, and forestry in the same area. We hypothesize that agrosilvopastoral systems can improve soil C and N stocks over time. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to evaluate the changes in soil C and N stocks after conversion of low-productivity pasture into well-managed pasture and agrosilvopastoral land in the Brazilian Cerrado. Soil samples were collected in 2016 and 2018 at 0–5, 5–10, 10–20, and 20–30 cm depths from the following areas: integrated crop-livestock-forest (ICLF), marandu grass (Brachiaria brizantha) monoculture (MAR), low productivity pasture of signal grass (Brachiaria decumbens) monoculture (PAST), and native vegetation (NV; “Cerrado”). The C and N content and stocks, 13C natural abundance, and C contents in the physical and chemical fractions of soil organic matter (SOM) were measured. The ICLF and MAR systems promoted faster recovery of soil C and N stocks at all soil depths compared with PAST. The C content of the free light fraction of SOM under the ICLF and MAR systems increased, reaching values similar to NV up to 20 cm. The C content was higher in the humin fraction at all depths in all areas, and for this measurement, the ICLF system performed remarkably compared with PAST at a depth of 5–10 cm. Our findings support the hypothesis that conversion of low-productivity pasture into agrosilvopastoral and actively managed pasture systems leads to improvements in soil quality and C and N stocks in the Brazilian Cerrado.

© 2020 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Igor Costa de Freitas, Juliana Martins Ribeiro, Nayara Christina Almeida Araújo, Marcia Vitória Santos, Regynaldo Arruda Sampaio, Luiz Arnaldo Fernandes, Alcinei Mistico Azevedo, Brigitte Josefine Feigl, Carlos Eduardo Pellegrino Cerri, and Leidivan Almeida Frazão "Agrosilvopastoral Systems and Well-Managed Pastures Increase Soil Carbon Stocks in the Brazilian Cerrado," Rangeland Ecology and Management 73(6), 776-785, (20 November 2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2020.08.001
Received: 22 April 2020; Accepted: 2 August 2020; Published: 20 November 2020
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KEYWORDS
13C abundance
integrated production system
N stocks
soil organic matter
soil quality
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